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Re: 1988 jeep wrangler 2.5 4wd
Needs someone to check for play in the items you have mentioned (though probably not the u-joints), plus the swaybar links, and shock absorbers. If you can get the vehicle jacked off the ground (with safety stands under it) you should be able to check most of these items with a suitable lever bar. Wobble the steering wheel side to side to check the tie rod ends, with the vehicle on the ground and one hand on the tie rod to feel for the clunking.
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Jeeps are one of those vehicles that has some PROs and CONs. One big con is the front-end. Its never just one thing, LOL. You need to check out the front-end, thoroughly. Check all the components, check out the ball joints, tie-rod ends, u-joints, shocks, wheel bearings, and brake components. You can also inspect the wheel lug-nuts.
Get front end checked out a.s.a.p. as this could be a part ready to go, and steering could go with it. Steering link, tie rod end, idler arm all come to mind. Personally I wouldn't drive it too far if at all, and not at a high speed until I'm sure what it is.
You should check your front end, ball joints and tie rod ends for play. To do that jack the car up and set in on blocks so the front wheel hangs free. Grab the tire at 12 o'clock and 6 and try to move it in and out. If the wheel moves you have a bad ball joint, a helper to watch while you move the wheel will tell you upper or lower. Do the same at 9 and 3 to check tie rod ends. Again movement will indicate a bad tie rod. Check for inner or outer. Look at your shocks for signs of leakage. Aleaky shock could also make a clunk.
If everything appears to be tight then remove a wheel and look at your brakes, A loose caliper, pads flopping. Pads should only move in and out to the rotor and the caliper shouldn't move by hand. Hope this helps.
When you say shakes i am guessing the steering wheel. If it is the steering wheel shaking, it's know as the death wobble. Check the front steering components, look for worn or broken parts. Most common for death wobble are the tie rod ends, idler arm and pitmen arm. look for play along the track bars and check the ball joints.
The other thing too that will cause a death wobble is a bad alignment. there may be negative or no caster at all which would give you a death wobble.
Check all of the above and keep me posted. Good luck and be safe
The noise you hear could be the tie rod ends or several other front end items. Can you jack up the front end? If so then turn the wheels from side to side with your hands griping the wheel at the 9 and 3 oclock positions. if you feel freeplay or looseness you have to reach arround and place your hand on the outter tie rod end and see if the play is there or the inner tie rod end at the rack. I worked for saturn for a few yaears and we had ALOT of front struts that made a clunking sound over bumps. Don't forget the lower ball joints could be bad also. Check these by placing your hand on the bottom of the wheel and pushing and pulling on the wheel with it off the ground while checking the tie rod ends. Good Luck, Scott
What was said about the wear of the front end part when the alignment was given? I could be wrong but, I would say, Not likely for the tie rod ends and definately not the shocks for knocking sounds.. It sounds more like bad ball joints poping, although the idler arm and tye rod ends could be worn also .